Shows may vary by personal opinion, but here are the five types of TV shows you will encounter and should watch your freshman year.
THE GROUP-WATCH SHOW
One of my favorite college traditions that began freshman year was getting your friends together at least once a week, cramming into someone’s dorm with as many pizza rolls that could fit in your small dorm microwave and watching the latest episode of a show you’re all hooked on.
My pick: “Game of Thrones.” It’s hard to find someone who isn’t currently obsessed with HBO’s medieval fantasy-drama, so the chances of you finding a group of people in your dorm to watch it with are high. It’s also a show that has so many twists that reacting in real-time with your friends is crazy fun. And, if you’re like me and are a sucker for clickbait articles, there’s an infinite amount of articles to share in your “Game of Thrones” groupchat.
THE COMFORT-FOOD SHOW
This one is an essential for surviving your freshman year. Homesickness will soon set in once the excitement of move-in wears out, and you can only call your mom so many times in a day. Find a show that reminds you of home, that you used to watch and makes you feel warm inside. A show equivalent to mashed potatoes and gravy, if you will. This show will be a great cure for when you’re feeling down and just want to stay in bed all day. And past homesickness, it’ll be a great break from school stress. Rewatching a favorite show of yours is perhaps the best tip of self-care I can give you.
My pick: “The Office.” This one is really up to personal choice, but the show I always turn to when I’m feeling homesick or just need a show to put on in the background while I’m scrolling through Instagram is “The Office.” I used to be really obsessed with it in high school, so I’ve seen every episode a million times. It’s a show I can put on and not really have to pay that much attention to, but feel comforted when it’s on. 30-minute sitcoms work really great for this since they’re low commitment and short enough you can sneak in one (or way more than one) before bed.
THE BINGE-WATCH SHOW
This is a show that’s often difficult to watch in groups because you literally can’t stop watching it and know your friends lack the dedication you have, or maybe they’re just not fans of sitting around for extended hours of time with no breaks. This show is perhaps the most risky of all the shows you’ll encounter. If you get really sucked in, both your school work and social life will suffer, so you have to maintain a perfect balance. Binging is an art, really.
My pick: “Breaking Bad.” There are so many great shows to binge, but my freshman year I got hooked on “Breaking Bad” and flew through it so fast. I also had horrible timing and ended up getting to the last season during finals week and found myself studying around my “Breaking Bad” schedule. So, if you’re like me and know that you will always place studying after TV, plan ahead. The best kinds of shows for binging are ones with lots of seasons and drama (“Breaking Bad” has both). Honorable mentions: “House of Cards,” “How To Get Away With Murder” (or any Shondaland shows really) and “American Horror Story.”
THE GUILTY PLEASURE SHOW
Lastly, you have to find a show that’s equal parts terrible and addicting. This one is a bit of a combination of all of the above. It’s fantastic if you can find a group of friends that have the same guilty pleasure as you and you can all be terrible together while watching it. And it’s a great break from the stress of freshman year that can oftentimes be low-commitment—unless you get hooked really bad and end up binging it all in one weekend.
My pick: “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “Riverdale” and “Making a Murderer.” This is my personal favorite type of television, and those are some of my favorites. One of the most popular ones on campus I’d argue is “The Bachelor”/”The Bachelorette,” which could fall under the category of group-watch as well because I know lots of people who host viewing parties each week. Reality TV of any sort is fantastic for this category.